Nightclub celebrates history for two inclusivity initiatives

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Always a real hoot: the Night Owl offers an eclectic mix of music events within a vibrant positive atmosphere
Always a real hoot: the Night Owl offers an eclectic mix of music events within a vibrant positive atmosphere

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London nightclub the Night Owl is celebrating the history of its north London venue for National Inclusion Week and also Black History Month.

Formerly known as the renowned Silver Bullet, which closed in 2016 after much protest from the local music scene, the Night Owl in Finsbury Park, which plays soul and retro music, has since welcomed performances from artists including Leee John and Omar.

The venue is a strong supporter of black history, having taken inspiration from Motown music, which played an important role in racial integration in the 1950s. The Night Owl is empowering communities through its events, performances and partnerships with the likes of ILive Community Radio, a local radio station that represents the diversity of the UK and European music scene.

Keen to support black history

Arith Liyanage, CEO and founder of the Night Owl, said: “Having been born in London and a man of colour myself, I’ve always been keen to support black history and ensure my business follows suit. We have policies in place to support and encourage both employee and customer diversity.

“Our second Night Owl venue, opposite Finsbury Park station, was launched during the pandemic. It has since been met with open arms from the local community and musicians alike.

“An extensive list of individuals are supporting us on our journey. From Jermain Jackman, local Labour councillor and winner of The Voice​ series, to Leroy Logan MBE, founding member of the Black Police Association.”

Leroy Logan MBE said: “As a patron of Voyage Youth and the current Chair of Transition 2 Adulthood, it has led me to work with young people within the Finsbury Park area, giving me an insight into the need for safe and secure spaces for people to socialise and enjoy themselves.”

Positive atmosphere

Logan continued: “One such venue in the area is the Night Owl, providing an eclectic mix of music events within a vibrant positive atmosphere. Since launching during the negative Covid era, it has become a positive source of fun, making Finsbury Park a cool place, which has been desperately needed since I was a youngster in the area during the ’60s. Long may it continue.”

The Finsbury Park venue offers in-house, high-end Caribbean fusion food as part of its brunch menu, inspired by Jamaican and Barbadian heritage.

It opened its doors in 2015 and was the first-ever purpose-built Northern Soul and Motown club. It has venues in both Digbeth, Birmingham and Finsbury Park, London, offering a variety of live music events and club nights.

Celebrating its 10th year, National Inclusion Week is a week dedicated to celebrating inclusion and taking action to create inclusive workplaces that is taking place between 26 September and 2 October while Black History Month runs throughout October every year. It began as a way of remembering important people and events of people from Africa and its descendants. 

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